How do students and staff at MCHS feel about the possibility of coming back to school?

A student gets her temperature checked before being allowed back at school.

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A student gets her temperature checked before being allowed back at school.

If we go back to school in January as a hybrid (part face-to-face, part online), do you want to return to school?

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It’s the first day back from school since the COVID-19 pandemic and everyone is hopeful but scared at the same time. Expecting things to go back to normal, students are surprised when they walk back into class and find themselves having to get their temperature checked, keep their mask on, sanitize everything they touch, and stay a safe distance away from their peers.

As difficult as that may seem, this could possibly be the new normal once everyone begins returning back to school. 

Despite coronavirus still being a huge problem in the world, many cities and communities are slowly beginning to reopen. More specifically, multiple Orange County school districts have been given the green light to begin reopening soon.

The Santa Ana Unified School District has recently announced its plan to slowly bring back students from different grade levels as well as offer hybrid learning to those who want it.

Though this is undoubtedly a controversial decision, the most important question is: How do the students and teachers of MCHS feel about the possibility of returning to school?

Our freshmen have started off their year in a much different way compared to before. Instead of spending time in classrooms to get their education, they are now stuck on a computer screen listening to their teachers talk. 

Freshman Ruth Garcia shared her thoughts about whether or not she’d rather be in class online or in-person.

“I prefer going on campus because it’d be easier for students and teachers. It’d be easier for students because you can see the teachers, and on Zoom, sometimes kids can’t turn on their cameras or mics for some reason,” said Garcia.

Garcia isn’t the only one who wants to return. Freshman Leslie Tovar, also expressed why she believed we should go back to school.

“I feel like with online school you get distracted really quick, and then with normal school you can’t really get distracted since everyone is doing the work and you don’t have a phone to use,” said Tovar.

Freshmen aren’t the only ones impacted from the pandemic. Every other grade level is experiencing a similar, if not the same situation. Last year’s seniors were heavily impacted by the pandemic, practically losing all the activities the school had planned. Similarly, this year’s seniors are at risk of losing multiple activities with the SATs already beginning to be cancelled. 

Senior Vanessa Rivero reflected on how her experience has been so far with college applications and how she feels about the possible return to campus.

“In a way it’s harder but it’s also easier; because of COVID, we don’t really get that physical one-on-one help with our teachers and counselors. I also know that people wanted to take the SAT because they saw it as an opportunity to boost their chances of getting into the college of their choice. I think bringing back kids is not a good idea because I’ve heard that other schools that have chosen to reopen had to close again because kids were getting sick,” said Rivero.

Teachers in certain districts have actually been teaching in their classrooms as a way to keep routine. Of course many didn’t like the idea, as they’d prefer to be at home where it’s safer. But now that we’re able to come back, do they feel like it’s the best choice?

Ms. Stanton, a student teacher working with Mrs. Silverstein and student at the University of California, Irvine misses the social interactions with her friends but understands the risk and possible danger that might hold.

“I want to be on campus and I want to be interacting with people, but at the same time I care about people’s safety and my own more than I care about missing out on things that our society has deemed as important experiences,” said Stanton.

Though Mrs. Silverstein, a teacher for both English and Drama, doesn’t agree with coming back to school, she understands that when we do precautions will have to be put in place.

“You can’t spray Lysol in the middle of a class because of allergies. If we come back, we need people to be spaced apart… and we’ll also sanitize everything,” said Silverstein.

The results of our school district’s new plan is very important. In the upcoming weeks more and more kids will begin to return and some will stick to online learning. If all goes well, we should expect a return next semester.